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Thousands participate in Heart Mini-Marathon to raise money, awareness for heart disease

The American Heart Association has been holding the event for 46 years
Posted at 11:09 AM, Mar 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-19 19:01:07-04

CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Heart Mini-Marathon raises millions of dollars every year to fight heart disease and stroke.

The event is the single-largest fundraiser in Greater Cincinnati for the American Heart Association (AHA). The non-profit uses the money raised to help fund life-saving science. As of Sunday morning, Cincinnatians had raised over $2,566,0000. The Greater Cincinnati AHA’s goal is $3.3 million

“A lot of it does stay here in Cincinnati. We are currently funding $12.5 million dollars of research right here at UC Health, Cincinnati’s Children’s and Miami University and top of that a lot of great programs to educate individuals how to do CPR, how to take those preventative measures to stay healthy,” said Rachel McCarthy, the associate vice president of development with the AHA.

She said most of the money goes to basic researchers who are just starting out and have different ideas.

The Heart Mini-Marathon has a long history in the Queen City.

“This is our 46th annual event,” said Alyson Poling, executive director of the Greater Cincinnati AHA. “The Heart Mini-Marathon originally started as a 15K, that's a mini-marathon that has morphed into this race world we know today, a half-marathon, a 5K walk and run, a kids race and then also a step for stroke for those who can’t run or walk a full race.”

According to the AHA, heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide followed by stroke. The ultimate goal for the organization is to have a world free of cardiovascular disease.

“One in three women will die of heart disease and/or stroke," Poling said. "The problem, if you will, with women is we just started studying women as their own population in 1992. We’ve been studying men since we started studying heart disease.”

Poling added the signs and symptoms are different for women compared to men. She said symptoms in women also vary. When it comes to a heart attack, she said some of the signs for women are neck, stomach, or jaw pain, sweating and nausea.

In February, AHA teamed up with Damar Hamlin for the #3forHeart CPR Challenge. The goal is to save more lives through CPR education and training with the AHA.